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GRAINS-Soybeans poised for fourth weekly gain on Chinese buying

* Soybean futures firm, trade near last session’s two-year high

* Corn set to end week lower after three weeks of gains (Recasts with change in market direction, adds quote in paragraph 3)

SINGAPORE, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Chicago soybean futures rose on Friday and were set for their fourth week of gains as strong demand from China, the world’s top importer, supported prices.

Corn was on track to finish the week lower after a three-week rally, while wheat was set for a fourth weekly rise.

“It is not just soybeans, China has been taking other farm good such as corn and wheat as well in large volumes,” said Phin Ziebell, an agribusiness economist at National Australia Bank in Melbourne. “It is supporting global prices, at least in the short term.”

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board Of Trade has gained 1.8% so far in the week. Soybeans were up 0.1% at $9.66-1/2 a bushel, as of 0214 GMT, not far from a two-year high reached in the last session at $9.68-1/4 a bushel.

Corn was down 1.2% so far this week, the market’s first weekly loss in a month, and wheat was up nearly 1%.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that private exporters sold 132,000 tonnes of U.S. soybeans to China and another 318,000 tonnes to unknown destinations, all for delivery in the 2020/21 marketing year that began on Sept. 1.

China, the world’s top soybean importer, has been seeking to combat jitters over food security. It was the top buyer of U.S. soybeans, corn, wheat and pork in the week ended Aug. 27, according to USDA data.

Rains in recent days brought relief to parched wheat fields in central Argentina, the Buenos Aires Grains Exchange said on Thursday, although some damage to yields was expected to be irreversible after months of extraordinarily dry weather.

Commodity funds were net sellers of CBOT corn, wheat and soyoil futures contracts on Thursday and net buyers of soybean and soymeal contracts, traders said. (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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